Posted: 04/12/17 23:35
by Dave Mindeman
On March 17th, Kurt Daudt and other GOP legislators sent a letter to Elaine Chao at the Department of Transportation which said this about the Southwest Light Rail project:
In that March 17 letter, House Speaker Kurt Daudt and 83 other GOP legislators asked Chao to deny a full-funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration that would provide nearly $900 million to build the line. They described Southwest light rail as a "grossly wasteful project" that would be "counter-productive" to state interests.
Daudt is an idiot.
To outright reject $900 million for a needed transportation project simply because it is for light rail is stupid and irresponsible. Kurt Daudt is, in essence, telling us that the metro light rail project...and quite frankly, any light rail project....gets no support from him or his colleagues.
900 million dollars is a lot of money. It would pay for over 80% of the project. A project that is ready to go...a project that has already gone through the bruising planning phase, has preliminary plans in place, and jobs ready to start. Yet, GOP legislators have the gaul to snuff it out.
Daudt is a backwards thinker.
There is little doubt (I have trouble with that word these days) that SWLRT is a necessary component to a full service light rail system for the Twin Cities. But, as Governor Dayton says it a rebuttal letter....
He noted its "strong support" from several key business organizations, as well as the cities and counties along the route. He also said he will protect the longstanding financial commitments that have already been made to the project.
Former Senate Minority leader David Hann opposed SWLRT representing a district in which it would run through...and he was electorally defeated because of that opposition.
But Daudt doesn't care. This guy (who wants to be governor) continues to divide the state along geographic lines. He protects his majority by convincing rural Minnesota that he alone looks out for them. That transit is taking money from greater Minnesota transportation needs.
What Daudt never concedes is that transit funding mostly comes from Federal transportation dollars. Dollars that are appropriated for projects such as this. Those dollars won't come to Minnesota for rural roads and bridges....it will go to a different state for a similar project.
Daudt is foolishly wasting a return of Federal tax money to Minnesota.
We send more in taxes to Washington, DC than we get back in Fed supported projects in Minnesota. Light rail transit is a huge opportunity to get some of those dollars working for this state.
And light rail is NOT some bloated, wasted endeavor. Minnesota businesses are clamoring for transit projects. It is good for business, good for workers, and good for developers. That is serious economic activity that we can gain by simply letting this project go forward without needless GOP stonewalling.
I "doubt" that "Daudt" could ever be governor - because he will never meet the needs of ALL the citizens of this state. He depends too much on dividing us on a geographic basis. That is a losing strategy for him and for the state of Minnesota.